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Philip Game | profile | all galleries >> European Russia and the Baltic (9 galleries) >> Living the Russian Dream tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Moscow's Magic | St Petersburg | Russia's Golden Ring | Moscow, 2008 | Novgorod the Great | Pskov and Lake Peipsi | Latvia | Lithuania | Living the Russian Dream

Living the Russian Dream

A cottage in the countryside, be it weekend retreat or retirement home, is a fairly universal aspiration, but nowhere more so than in Russia, where even the Soviet regime recognised the importance of this social safety valve. Some scenes of the Russian Dacha lifestyle: the forest cabins where Russians retreat at weekends, leaving behind their city apartments to grow vegetables, breathe fresh air, drink vodka, stew themselves in steam bathes, or simply rusticate. Meet retired banker Mikhail Kareline, busily building his very own dacha outside Moscow… and glimpse the sadly shabby reality of life in decaying villages beyond the cities of modern Russia.
Dawn over a dacha garden, just outside Moscow's west
Dawn over a dacha garden, just outside Moscow's west
Dirt roads of a village a couple hours out of Moscow
Dirt roads of a village a couple hours out of Moscow
The banya, or bathhouse, and the forests beyond
The banya, or bathhouse, and the forests beyond
Dacha hospitality
Dacha hospitality
Dacha hospitality
Dacha hospitality
Building a banya in the best rustic style
Building a banya in the best rustic style
Taking it easy in the village
Taking it easy in the village
Fretwork windows of a log home, or Izba
Fretwork windows of a log home, or Izba
Fretwork windows of a timber cottage, or Izba
Fretwork windows of a timber cottage, or Izba
Log cabin in a Russian villages
Log cabin in a Russian villages
Onion domes and spires of a rural church
Onion domes and spires of a rural church
Village2.jpg
Village2.jpg
Selling kvass (a malt drink) in a country town
Selling kvass (a malt drink) in a country town
Village Izba, or cottage
Village Izba, or cottage
Interior of a true village Izba, or cottage
Interior of a true village Izba, or cottage